Biomechanics of the Cervical Spine
City College: A. Sadegh
Hospital Partners: P. Torzilli
Hospital for Special Surgery; R. Moskovich, Hospital for Joint Diseases
Our research involves biodynamics of cervical spine and mechanisms of injuries in sports and automotive accidents. Specifically, we seek to predict muscle-skeletal response of the spine when the head, neck and upper torso are subjected to a high acceleration load and/or impact. We have developed and validated a very detailed and anatomically correct finite element model of the spine which includes vertebral bodies, discs, ligaments and muscles. The material nonlinearities of the hard and soft tissues in the spine have been implemented in the model. The experimental data used in this research were collected from the biodynamic responses of human volunteers in the drop tower and slid test facilities at Armstrong laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Our spine model appears to be the state-of-the-art finite element model of its kind.
Currently, we are simulating head injuries and predicting the dynamic stresses in each vertebra. We are attempting to explain mechanisms of injuries and recommend preventive devices for sports and automotive applications. This research was initially supported by AFOSR for the study of cervical loads on pilots in an emergency ejection from a disabled aircraft.